By finishing thirdin an Arabian dust storm at last week's Dubai Desert Classic, Tiger Woods(below) extended his winless streak in non-Tour international events to five.Dating back to September 2006, he has lost at the HSBC World Match Play, playedfor the losing side at the Ryder Cup, finished second at tournaments in Chinaand Japan, and in Dubai played third fiddle to Henrik Stenson. It's enough tomake a fellow turn in his passport.
Tiger's otherstreak, seven Tour wins in a row, is still alive, and many have figured outthat Tiger can tie Byron Nelson's record of 11 straight at the Masters--HolyAmen Corner, Batman!--if he wins three straight events between now and April.Nothing he said in Dubai, however, clarified his plans. Said Woods, "I'mgoing to go home and kind of figure it out. Hopefully I'll get my puttingorganized before I compete again."
• MARK O'MEARA wasin Dubai last week too. There, he announced he would not play in this week'sPebble Beach Pro-Am as originally planned because he remembered how tough itwas to go from Dubai all the way to the West Coast last year. Pebble wassupposed to be the final Tour start for O'Meara. But instead of playing in anevent he's won five times, O'Meara, who turned 50 on Jan. 13, will now preparefor his Champions tour debut at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am on Feb. 16--18 inTampa. Fair enough, but the move does raise one interesting hypothetical: IfO'Meara had shown up at Pebble, how would that have made Woods look forskipping the Nissan Open, played a week later, because of travel fatigue? ...Nick Price (who turned 50 on Jan. 28) will make his Champions debut at thisweek's Allianz Championship.
• AS USUAL, nextyear's FBR will end on the same day as the Super Bowl. The difference is thatthe 2008 NFL championship will be played about half an hour away at Phoenix'sGlendale Stadium. The Thunderbirds, who run the FBR, spent months pressing theTour to move the finish to Saturday, as it did in 1996, the last time the SuperBowl was in Phoenix, but TV obligations prevented a switch. Meanwhile, theThunderbirds are planning for hotel shortages and traffic jams, and have begunfiguring out where to land helicopters so they can ferry players and bigwigs tothe game in time for kickoff.... A few fun Super Bowl bets popped up at the LasVegas Hilton: Which would be higher, Woods's final-round score in Dubai (69) orBernard Berrian's receiving yards (38)? Or Ernie Els's Sunday score at Dubai(71) versus Dominic Rhodes's combined rushing and receiving yards (113)? That'sFootballers 1, Golfers 1.
• THE MONTERREYPeninsula averages 4.2 inches of rain in January but received only .9 of aninch last month, one of the driest Januaries on record. This week's forecast?Rain.
• SUGGESTED WOODSBABY NAME OF THE WEEK Sumo2.
• A new InsideGolf by Gary Van Sickle appears every Wednesday at SI.com/golf.
"Lee Trevino became my symbol of opportunity."--MY SHOT, PAGE G18
Putts by Aaron Baddeley at the FBR Open, least in thefield.
A Missouri gem that's as good for your karma as it isfor your game
WHAT Drumm Farm Golf Club
WHERE Independence, Mo.
COST $5 million for a 30-year lease
HOOK This 7,121-yard, 18-hole championship course wasdesigned by Michael Hurdzan, as was the nine-hole, par-30 executive track thatcomes with it.
FRINGE BENEFIT The feel-good factor: Revenue from thelease supports the Andrew Drumm Institute, a nonprofit organization founded in1929 to provide safe homes for orphaned and indigent boys. The club is also aFirst-Tee of Kansas City site, so it helps other underprivileged kids too.